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  1. #1
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    Choosing a Vintage Sewing Machine for Gear Making - Videos on Pfaffs, Singers, Adlers, Durkopps

    Hey guys, I've been MIA for awhile but in the last couple years I have gotten REALLY into restoring vintage industrial and domestics machines. The interest was sparked of course by this site and other DIY outdoor forums. I thought I would share with others what I've learned along the way.

    I'll cut to the chase with my reccomdations after owning dozens of industrial and domestics:

    Top Choices for Straight Stitch Domestic:
    1) Pfaff 30 or 131
    2) Singer 201
    3) Singer 15-91

    Top Choices for Zig/Zag and Straight Stitch Domestic:
    1) Pfaff 130
    2) Adler 189A
    3) Necchi BU Nova/Mira


    Tops Choice for Zig/Zag & Straight Stitch Industrial:
    1) Bernina 217N
    2) Pfaff 138
    3) Singer 20U

    Top Choices for Industrial Compound Feed Walking Foot:
    1) Pfaff 545-H3 or 545-H4
    2) Adler 267


    Here are Links to videos showing those machines and many more in action:

    Domestic Sewing Machine Demonstration Videos:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...sQaMDKzx_L0LjN

    Industrial Sewing Machine Demonstration Videos:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...Nfg3g6rY2qXpP5

    Instructions/Adjustments/Walk-Thrus:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...LZw2SmjI7R4JxV


    In the future I plan on doing sewing techniques and skill videos. I'll post links when those start to go live. I have a whole list of things that I think would be helpful to people who are new to sewing and those who may have years of experience who are looking for quicker and cleaner ways to get things done.

    Just thought I'd share with the rest of the DIY community.
    Last edited by thesergeant; 10-23-2014 at 12:27.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bubba's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. I went a bit machine crazy this past Spring but I've had to stop. It's fun getting old machines up and running again. I took great pleasure in using my 104 year old treadle to fix my son's snow pants last winter. Looking forward to future videos.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for that list.
    How do you define 'vintage' ?
    Could you post a list (if possible) of all the machines you tried, when compiling your 'Top Three' lists?

  4. #4
    Member OregonBushcraft's Avatar
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    Great list! I've been in the market for an industrial for a while but I rarely see them on Craigslist. Keep hoping to find a pfaff at a garage sale

  5. #5
    Senior Member SirMarkos's Avatar
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    I'm in the market for a 15-91. Just have no idea what I should pay for one.

  6. #6
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirMarkos View Post
    I'm in the market for a 15-91. Just have no idea what I should pay for one.
    I got mine from a good sewing machine store. I had taken my wife's Kenmore in for repairs and tune-up, which cost about $100, if I remember correctly. They had used machines on sale that they had reconditioned. I saw a 15-91 for about the same money, so I bought it. The cabinet shows signs of wear, but the machine has worked great for 5 years now. I figured if I'd found an old machine on Craigs List I might have needed to pay $100 for reconditioning too. You could possibly do better on price if you look long enough and you're lucky, but my 15-91 came into my life at a good time, and I consider it money well spent.

    @ thesergeant: Thanks! Great info. I think the link to the vintage domestic machines is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLe4...sQaMDKzx_L0LjN. Have I got that right?
    Last edited by WV; 10-23-2014 at 09:02.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SirMarkos's Avatar
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    Well, I found this on eBay...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1951...item35de7299e9

    She's a beauty!

    $_57.JPG

  8. #8
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Check out thesergeant's video on the 15-91 in the vintage machine playlist link.

  9. #9
    Senior Member squidbilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirMarkos View Post
    Well, I found this on eBay...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1951...item35de7299e9

    She's a beauty!

    $_57.JPG

    Yes she is! Plus she's the coveted centennial model with manual and accessories. Some would not pay that much for it since there were millions of them made over the years, but it looks to be in beautiful shape. Your worry buying from ebay is shipping: not very many are willing to properly package a heavy vintage machine for shipping. I lucked out when I bought my Necchi Lelia. The seller claimed to be a sewing machine technician, but I had to make several adjustments before it would even sew. I was lucky because he shipped it in a cheap plastic case that was destroyed in shipment, but the machine wasn't damaged.

  10. #10
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    do you use them sucessfully ?
    i have a singer that ive used for clothes mending but was going to boot up our electric for use on my DIY UQ

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